Second String Arsenal Lose in Greece
2 second half goals were enough for Olympiakos to beat Arsenal at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
Olympiakos 2-1 Arsenal
The Gunners had already qualified for the next stage and only brought a handful of first team players with boss Arsene Wenger preferring to put faith in his second string players to claim top spot. Arsenal knew that a win for them and a defeat for Schalke against Montpellier would see them top the group.
As it was, Arsenal took the lead through Tomas Rosicky in the 38th
minute. Gervinho picked up the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area and charged to the by-line. He then checked back and found Rosicky who swept his effort into the corner passed the outstretched fingers of ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll.
Arsenal had the better of the first half but that all changed after the break.
It took until the 65th
minute for Olympiakos to force an equaliser through Giannis Maniatis. A corner was swung in to the Arsenal box which was partially cleared. Arsenal failed to deal with the ball back in though as an unfortunate deflection off Aaron Ramsey put it on a plate for Maniatis.
Wojciech Szczesny was shown a yellow card amidst the celebrations for dissent as he didn’t believe that the initial corner should have been given instead claiming it hit the post rather than him saving it.
Olympiakos grabbed the winner in the 73rd
minute when Kostas Mitroglou’s curling effort beat the unsighted Szczesny just minutes after he had come on.
Despite the defeat, Arsenal finish second in the group 2 points behind Schalke who finish top. The second place finish means Arsenal could potentially face heavyweights such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the last 16. Olympiakos meanwhile finish 3rd
, a point behind The Gunners and will enter the Europa League.